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. 2017 Dec;147(12):2282-2288.
doi: 10.3945/jn.117.254961. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Cranberry Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence in Otherwise Healthy Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Cranberry Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence in Otherwise Healthy Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Zhuxuan Fu et al. J Nutr. .


Background: Cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) has been advocated for treatment of urinary tract infection (UTI); however, its efficacy is controversial. Women have a 50% risk of UTI over their lifetime, and ∼20-30% experience a subsequent UTI recurrence.Objective: We conducted this meta-analysis to assess the effect of cranberry on the risk of UTI recurrence in otherwise healthy women.Methods: Literature published before January 2011 was obtained from 2 published systematic reviews, and we conducted updated searches in EMBASE and MEDLINE (through July 2017). We included randomized controlled trials that were conducted in generally healthy nonpregnant women aged ≥18 y with a history of UTI, compared cranberry intervention to a placebo or control, and reported the outcome as the number of participants experiencing a UTI. Two researchers conducted abstract and full-text screenings, data extractions, and risk of bias assessments independently, and discrepancies were resolved by group consensus. Meta-analyses were performed by using Stata SE software (version 13). We employed a fixed-effect model using the Mantel-Haenszel method to estimate the summary risk if the heterogeneity was low to moderate (I2 < 50%). Otherwise, we applied a random-effects model using the DerSimonian-Laird method.Results: We identified 7 randomized controlled trials conducted in healthy women at risk of UTI (n = 1498 participants). Results of the meta-analysis showed that cranberry reduced the risk of UTI by 26% (pooled risk ratio: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.98; I2 = 54%). Risk of bias indicated that 2 studies had high loss to follow-up or selective outcome reporting. Overall, the studies were relatively small, with only 2 having >300 participants.Conclusion: These results suggest that cranberry may be effective in preventing UTI recurrence in generally healthy women; however, larger high-quality studies are needed to confirm these findings. This trial was registered at as CRD42015024439.

Keywords: Vaccinium; meta-analysis; prevention; proanthocyanidin; urinary tract infection.

Conflict of interest statement

Author disclosures: ZF, DT, and MC, no conflicts of interest. DL has received grant funding from Ocean Spray Cranberries. The funding source had no role in the study design, conduct, or interpretation and reporting.

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